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Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

(OP)
I have a singed proposal for a project that involves site development plans for a church. My client is the general contractor. I prepared a preliminary full set of plans for my client which they shared with the church. I billed and received payment for substantial completion on the project. The project has been on hold for a few months. I was just contacted today by another general contractor who has been asked by the church to bid on the job. The contractor wants a price on finishing the preliminary plans and getting the plans permitted. Not sure what to do. I feel like i should contact my client to let them know whats going. Not sure how to proceed from there. I should mention that my client is one of my very best clients.
Thanks for input

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

You have no option but to advise your client of this unsolicited approach by a competitor of the client. I would as well make sure the church knows that they are acting unethically, but your client will probably do that. Now if the church wants to reimburse the original contractor for expenses, and further to obtain a release, you would be fine to proceed.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Without knowing what was written in the original contract or if the church has paid in full for the work carried out to date how can you know they acted unethically?

I can personally see no reason not to speak to the original client and make a decision from there.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Your contract was not with the church. Assuming you have reasonably good clauses in your contract with your client (ownership of documents, re-use of documents, etc.), then you should own the documents and you may do with them as you please. Properly, you should contact your client and let them handle the potential conflict. In most cases, working for two different clients on the same project presents a potential conflict of interest and you are obligated to notify all involved.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Is that really the norm? Once we have received full payment they become the IP of our client under our terms and conditions.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Builder604's client is the original GC, not the church. The right to use the IP is transferred to the GC and thus onto the church once Builder604 is paid in full, but Builder604 should still retain the IP rights.

I have a photograph of the family in my living room. It is stamped as being copyrighted by the photographer. If I want another copy I have to go back to them to obtain additional copies.

The transfer of the IP can be handled in multiple ways, depending on the terms and conditions of the contract. Some could transfer the IP totally and some could only transfer the right to use the IP.

You never really buy software. Look at the license agreement. You only buy the right to use the software and the seller only agrees that the media the software is delivered on is free of defects, not the software itself.

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Builder64 raises a good question which comes up for me often. My understanding is that most state board of engineers have "ethical" rules which require you to not provide professional engineering services to more than one client for a particular piece of work. If you look at the list of folks who have lost their licenses in the last year, many of them will be for this reason. Builder64: Did you stamp the preliminary plans?

I have always thought it this rule to be too broad because there are clearly instances where it is not a conflict of interest to work for two clients.

In respect to client relationship management when your client is a contractor: Contractors live and die through the bid process, and they can get emotional if you switch to the other team. Often competing contractors will have the same subs for generic blue collar trades, but its unusual to have the same engineer. I have been in this situation, and its very uncomfortable. Your client starts getting suspicious of you and you know they are wondering whether you are giving the other guy a better price and so forth. They typically will not worry if you are working for their competitors on other projects though.

Also: if your original contractor paid for your services without reimbursement from the church and you switch teams, it not going to be good for your relationship.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

ajack1...you should change your general conditions. Don't ever give up ownership of your documents unless forced to do so!

Working for two clients on the same project is a POTENTIAL conflict of interest. If all are notified and agree...there is no conflict.

RE: Contacted by another contractor to finish plans I started for my client the original contractor.

Ron: I think you may be right! Just downloaded the California Code of Professional Conduct for Professional Engineers:

"(b) Conflict of Interest:
(1) If a licensee provides professional services for two or more clients on a project or related projects, the licensee shall disclose in writing to those clients and property owners or their authorized representatives his or her relationship to those clients."

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